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RE: Steering shaft removal on a B which method do you use?

To: "''" <mgs@Autox.Team.Net>
Subject: RE: Steering shaft removal on a B which method do you use?
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 11:23:00 -0700 (PDT)
>From an earlier post I made... You don't have to take the steering shaft 

This procedure worked on my car and I hope it will work on yours... The 
trick here is how to get the nut, lock washer and spacer on and tightened 
without taking the steering column out.

Note: The previous owner had been in an accident in my car which bent the 
steering rack brackets over so that the steering column was shifted over to 
the passenger side. It rubbed against the bracket for the engine mount. I 
fixed this condition so that it is in the "normal" position. As long as 
yours has not been bent or abused this should work fine as it did on mine.

Unbolt the two bolts on both sides. Jack the engine... removing all bolts 
except the driver's side rear bolt which is impossible to take out unless 
you loosen the engine side bracket which you don't want to do at this 
There IS enough clearance to get a 1/2 inch wrench in there to loosen the 
nut on the mount. Depending on the size of your wrench you may have to jack 
the engine more or push it a little to the side. You could even bend a 
wrench a little to clear the oil pan. A standard craftsman fits fine. I did 
the swap with my engine out but I tightened the mount with the engine in so 
I know it is possible to fit it in there and have enough clearance to get it 
to turn. Once you break the nut loose you hold the wrench and spin the mount 
to remove it. You should now have a nut, lock washer, and a square spacer 
plate spread out over the floor or hidden behinds a tire. Pick 'em up and 
get the new mount handy.

Trick part: Take a 1 inch diameter rubber band (small) and double it around 
the nut so that it covers the 6 flat sides, spread the two loops of rubber 
band apart a little. Now each of the six flat sides of the nut have two 
rubber band strips on them. This will allow the nut to be placed securely in 
the open end of the wrench (even at an angle) so that it can be held in 
place between the bracket and steering column. You should be able to pick up 
the wrench by grabbing the nut.

I have a lot of patience and used an awl type tool with a bent tip to align 
and hold the spacer and lock washer against the bracket. I basically just 
put the tool through the hole in the bracket and slipped the lock washer and 
spacer over the hook then pulled it up to the back of the bracket (dropped 
it about 6 times) but there may be an easier way. You could buy a locknut 
(nylock) to replace the nut lock washer combo and then you would only have 
to align the spacer plate. While you have that spacer plate approximately 
over the right spot with the holes lining up, take your wrench with the nut 
on it an slip it in there. when you get it in line with the holes in the 
bracket and spacer (lock washer if applicable),hold the wrench up against 
the spacer to hold it in place and slip out the awl. You can now use a round 
punch or awl, whatever you want to perfectly line up the holes while keeping 
pressure with the wrench. Don't worry about the angle of the nut. Take the 
new mount and screw the bolt end into the nut which you are holding up to 
the hole with the wrench. Because the rubber band is flexible, the nut will 
be able to move and thread properly onto the mount. Once you have it screwed 
in hand tight and in position, you can give the nut a last few turns using 
the wrench ( you may have to flip the wrench over each fraction of a turn 
depending on clearance ) You can just scrape the rubber bands off the nut so 
that it's easier to tighten the nut.

If you are replacing shims... (I have two on the drivers side for clearance 
with the exhaust and steering column), tape or glue them together. You could 
also tape them to the mount to ease alignment and installation.

I was able to swap the driver's side mount in a few minutes (under 30 min) 
Hope you have the same luck. If something is not clear or doesn't make 
sense, reply. If this wasn't the flashy magical answer you were looking for 
sorry but at least it works ( your mileage may vary).

Christopher Reichle

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